Explore 6th Grade
Experiential learning plays a big role throughout the middle school years. The sixth grade makes two visits to school’s 15 and a half acre mountain campus up in the foothills outside of Denver. On the first of these trips, students catch local insects to help them complete their sixth grade “bug project.” This project involves collecting, pinning, and cataloguing over 20 distinct insects. On the second visit to the hills, students stay overnight in the dormitories and take part in numerous outdoor group activities. They learn about the local ecosystem on day-long hikes in the surrounding hills and spend time examining things with an eye to learning more about their surroundings.
Explore 7th Grade
The seventh grade travel south with faculty in the school’s buses to the Great San Dunes National monument. Following an overnight in tents and a day hike with park rangers, the students head back north to go whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. A study of water and a visit to a trout hatchery round out students’ study of Colorado water use.
Explore 8th Grade
Visiting Washington, DC and More
In eighth grade, students take a winter trip to Winterpark ski area to further build class unity in advance of their spring class trip to Washington DC. The overnight trip includes an evening of “tubing,” and the following day involves skiing on the slopes of Winterpark and MaryJane ski areas. In March, the entire eighth grade travels to Washington DC. The group starts in Williamsburg, Virginia, a central point in American history. From there, the class continues to Norfolk,Virginia, home of the Atlantic fleet and site of the naval museum. Continuing up north, the class hits a number of national monuments, tours the Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian and National Archives and takes in an evening play at the Kennedy Center. The trip provides a comprehensive look at the nation’s capital.
In Project 8, 8th-grade students reflect on their own personal stories and values that matter most to them to create a This I Believe essay. Working in small groups with a mentor, they write an essay, deliver the speech in front of their classmates and parents, and create a podcast. Not only do students learn a great deal about themselves in this experience, but they learn more about their classmates.